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Senate Rejects Amendment That Would Expand The FBI’s Data Collection Powers

On Wednesday, June 22, the U.S. Senate voted down a proposal that would have expanded the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (“FBI”) ability to obtain internet records from technology companies. The measure, a proposed...more

Controversy looms over ECPA amendment in wake of Orlando terrorist attack

After the terrorist attack in Orlando, Florida, early this month, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) has been discussed quite a bit. The ECPA, a law which took effect in 1986, limits the government’s access to...more

Are Changes in Store for the Stored Communications Act?

Last week saw action on two fronts regarding the Stored Communications Act (SCA) – the US federal statute regulating government searches of online accounts in criminal investigations. In Congress, a proposal to reform the SCA...more

U.S. Regulators Disagree On Government Access To Encrypted Information

On January 25, 2016, at the State of the Net Internet Policy Conference in Washington, D.C., Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell from the Department of Justice and Commissioner Terrell McSweeny from the Federal Trade...more

Spies, Hacking & Civil Liberties in the UK

In late 2015, Theresa May, the UK Home Secretary introduced the Investigatory Powers Bill (the “Bill”). Mrs May stated that the Bill was introduced to ensure that surveillance laws are “modern, fit for purpose and can...more

Online Terrorism Reporting Act Revived In Light Of San Bernardino Shootings

Within hours after a pair of shooters killed fourteen people in San Bernardino, California, reports emerged that one of the perpetrators had sworn allegiance to ISIS immediately before the attack. In the week following,...more

UK Investigatory Powers Bill: Big Brother 2.0?

On 4 November an Investigatory Powers Bill (‘Bill’) which could overhaul internet surveillance in the UK was introduced to the House of Commons....more

Judicial Redress Act Passes House; May Aid New U.S.-E.U. Safe Harbor

On October 20, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Judicial Redress Act (the “Act”) to allow European Union residents to challenge certain privacy violations by the U.S. government in U.S. courts. If passed by the...more

California Law Enforcement and Industry Gain Procedural Certainty with Historic Cal-ECPA Bill

On October 8, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown of California signed into law Senate Bill 178, known as the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (Cal-ECPA). Cal-ECPA mandates that California law enforcement agencies...more

California Enacts CalECPA, Requiring a Search Warrant to Obtain or Access Users’ Electronic Information

On Thursday, October 8, 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (the “California ECPA”). This legislation, which takes effect on January 1, 2015, has been heralded by...more

California Joins Other States with the Passage of CalECPA

Law enforcement requests for electronic information, particularly from technology companies such as Google and Twitter, have skyrocketed in recent years. In response, several states—Maine and Texas in 2013, Utah in 2014 and...more

United States v. Microsoft: ‘Global Chaos,’ Outdated Legislation And a Judge’s Plea to Congress

The Second Circuit’s challenge in considering the validity of a U.S. Stored Communications Act warrant to Microsoft for e-mails located on servers in Ireland involves interpreting the SCA, which was enacted nearly three...more

EU and U.S. Reach “Umbrella Agreement” on Data Transfers

The EU and U.S. reached an agreement on Tuesday (9 September) which will enable the two sides to exchange personal data during criminal and terrorism investigations....more

Future Unclear For NSA’s Bulk Telephone Metadata Collection Program

Fast approaching is the June 1 expiration of certain provisions of the Patriot Act, including § 215 (codified as 50 U.S.C § 1861), which is the basis for the National Security Agency’s (NSA) bulk telephone metadata collection...more

French National Assembly Adopting Surveillance Legislation

On 5 May 2015, the French National Assembly adopted a Bill aiming at reinforcing state surveillance. Several internet players as well as politicians have already raised serious concerns regarding the adoption of this Bill....more

Breaking News: Executive Order Signed Relating to “Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities”

President Obama today signed an Executive Order granting authority to the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to impose sanctions on individuals and entities determined to be “responsible for...more

Drone on Drones: Gov. Brown Vetoes AB 1327, Protecting Police Use of Drones

Amid controversy over the bill and its potential consequences, Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed AB 1327 this Sunday. The bill would have required law enforcement agencies to obtain a warrant before using a drone to gather criminal...more

California Enacts Smartphone Kill Switch Law to Promote Data Security

This week California enacted into law Senate Bill 962, which requires a “kill switch” on all smartphones that would render the device inoperable. The law applies to all smartphones manufactured after July 1, 2015 and sold in...more

Drone Law Enacted as Part of North Carolina Budget Bill

On Saturday, August 2, the North Carolina General Assembly gave final approval to the Appropriations Act of 2014. The 260-page budget bill—which is now on the Governor’s desk—contains several pages governing the use and...more

Are Criminal Laws the Right Response to Revenge Porn?  [Video]

July 15, 2014 (Mimesis Law) -- Scott Greenfield, criminal defense attorney and blogger at Simple Justice, talks with Lee Pacchia about some of the problems he sees in passing laws criminalizing revenge porn. In light of the...more

South Carolina Legislative Update - May 2014

“Crossover” Complete - The General Assembly’s May 1 “crossover” deadline requires bills to move from one legislative body to the other or require a two-thirds vote for consideration in the receiving chamber for bills...more

Report deems NSA telephone records program illegal

The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board issued a report today concluding that the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of telephone call records is illegal and should be ended. ...more

On The Radar: Government Unmanned Aerial Vehicles And Their Effect On Public Privacy Interests From Fourth Amendment Jurisprudence...

The utility of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in military operations and border security is well documented. As the technology becomes more affordable and available, domestic law enforcement agencies, other state and federal...more

Bills on Use of Mobile-Device-Location Data Reintroduced

Updating our entry on this issue posted during the last Congress, on March 21, 2013, lawmakers in the House and Senate reintroduced companion bills intended to curb government use of mobile users’ geolocation data. The...more

Pilfered Funds & The FCC’s Online Political Public File Rule: The Law Of Unintended Consequences

In recent months, a number of media buyers have had funds stolen from their bank accounts. Even after repeatedly opening and closing accounts to stop the theft, tens of thousands of dollars have been diverted to accounts...more

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